• Culture Everywhere wins Nesta and ODI’s Heritage and Culture Open Data Challenge
  • New platform uses open data to help organisations support and engage communities

An online platform that helps arts and heritage organisations with funding bids has won Nesta and the Open Data Institute’s (ODI's) Heritage and Culture Open Data Challenge.

Culture Everywhere is a web platform that lets users access and explore more than a dozen publicly available data sets including the UK Census, Index of Multiple Deprivation and grant giving from Arts Council England. The data reveals not only who, where and what has received funding but where there may be gaps in cultural provision. Based on this evidence, organisations can more efficiently construct proposals that support and engage their communities and are attractive to funders.

As well as hosting existing open data, the platform will produce its own by encouraging users to upload their project impact data. Alongside this, relevant research and good practice guides will be available.

The tool is being developed by creative arts provider Ignite Imaginations and The Better With Data Society after they identified that, while grassroots arts and heritage organisations can reach people and communities more easily than mainstream institutions, they often don’t have the same resources available to invest in researching and writing successful bids to fund their culture projects. The team will now use the £50,000 prize to develop the tool ready for launch in 2016.

The competition challenged applicants to develop a product or service that uses open data to engage more people in UK heritage and culture. It forms one of seven challenge prizes to invite businesses, startups and individuals to develop innovative solutions to social issues using open data. You can read more about the series.

Briony Phillips, Open Data Challenge Series programme manager, comments: “The Heritage and Culture challenge was a particularly close-run competition. I’m pleased we are able to support Culture Everywhere as they increase access to open data across the arts sector and hope to help level the playing field for smaller grassroots arts organisations. The platform has the potential to help arts organisations more easily apply for funding, provide opportunities and measure their impact thereby creating a virtuous cycle for the future.”

Jag Goraya, Culture Everywhere, adds: “Open data, like culture, is a powerful thing, but there's still much to do to make it accessible and widely enjoyed. Our team is passionate about both, which is why we entered the challenge. Culture Everywhere puts open data into the hands of arts and heritage providers that don't have the time, capacity, skills or inclination to become data experts. It gives them the insight and evidence to create better targeted projects that can help them engage their communities with culture.”

You can read more about Culture Everywhere and former challenge winners in Nesta and the ODI’s Open Data Challenge Series Handbook published today.


For all media enquiries please contact Laura Scarrott in Nesta’s press office: [email protected] / 0207 438 2697

Culture and Heritage Open Data Challenge and Open Data Challenge Series:

The Culture and Heritage Open Data Challenge forms part of the Open Data Challenge Series which is led by Nesta and the Open Data Institute (ODI). The specific challenge question was: How can we use open data to engage more people, and more diverse people in UK heritage and culture.

The challenge invited teams including business, start-ups, social enterprises and community groups to collaborate and compete with each other to use open data to build new products and services.

For more information on the Open Data Challenge Series which is funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills visit: http://www.nesta.org.uk/open-data-challenge-series

About Nesta: (www.nesta.org.uk) is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery.

About the ODI: (theodi.orgThe Open Data Institute catalyses the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It unlocks supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues. Founded by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the ODI is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, Limited by Guarantee company. It has secured £10 million over five years via the UK innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, $750,000 from global philanthropic investor Omidyar Network, and is working towards long-term sustainability through match funding and direct revenue.

About Culture Everywhere: (cultureeverywhere.com) Culture Everywhere helps organisations deliver better social outcomes through culture, by making it quick and easy for fundraisers and grassroots arts and heritage organisations to develop fundable projects. The platform helps organisations reveal the need for their activities by using open data, helping them showcase their portfolio of work to find partners and funders, and to track impacts and social outcomes. It is being developed by The Better with Data Society which helps people discover the value of open data for their businesses and communities and Ignite Imaginations, a leading creative arts provider.